Why wear black?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
BlueRider
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 5 Feb 2020, 5:02pm

Mike Sales wrote:
BlueRider wrote:
Mike Sales wrote:
I suppose this is your knockdown refutation of any possibility of risk compensation.
I am afraid that risk compensation is a well known and accepted phenomenon.
People navigate their way in a world full of risks and rewards by taking into account their judgement of these factors. When the external environment changes they modify their behaviour.



God no, risk compensation is very much an observable human trait (seat belts anyone?).


But in my context, when i am cycling, it is an irellevence (As much as one could possibly say). I am a careful and responsible cyclist. Especially on the roads. I doubt the same could be said for a young lad bombing through the forest on his MTB or BMX, in which case i imagine a helmet and crash protection would make him feel like superman.

Context.


You claim immunity from this trait? You are welcome to your illusions, but risk compensation is not always as gross as you imagine. Small changes in behaviour or judgement, given the many decisions made in a typical cycling journey, or year, can easily absorb whatever small safety margin a helmet gives.
You are correct about seat belts. Cyclist and pedestrian casualties went up when they were mandated. I do not think that you should except yourself from the normal run of humanity.


Do i claim to be imune from this trait?
No, but i will happily argue that its influence on me during my ever-daily commute is significantly small and has no relation to a statistic (or not) which is probably heavily influenced by casual/incidental cyclists.

As that study rightly mentioned above, the problem with statistics is that the disconect from any relativity can render the statistic useless.
In the case of mature adult, commuting daily on a sensible bicycle with a good sense of self awareness and responsibillity, i would argue risk aversion statistics are eccentially so low as to be pointless.

Obviously with your differing standpoint, you will argue otherwise.

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pjclinch
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 5 Feb 2020, 5:04pm

BlueRider wrote:In your 1st paraghraph, you have argued that PPE doesn't have a significant effect. I will happily take the insignificant effects on my daily commute then. Any reduction of risk or injury is welcome.


So, next question is what sort of helmet do you use, particularly what standard is at rated to (Snell or EN1078, do you even know)?

And since body armour is available for cyclists can we please ascertain that you do wear that on your commute? What grade of gloves, knee and elbow pads do you wear?

And so on. By saying any reduction of injury risk is welcome and assuming PPE will do that for you (ignoring the actual chances of being in an accident, which tend to rise with PPE) put yourself in the position that any PPE you might wear should be worn. If you go down the "more is better" route rather than "enough is enough" you're signed up for an arms race you can't possibly win.

Pete.
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Mike Sales
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Mike Sales » 5 Feb 2020, 5:09pm

I think risk compensation and especially risk aversion are misleading terms. Risk homeostasis is better.
I may have misunderstood your thinking, but I take it that you are not a helmet advocate? That is, you may wear one, but do not venture to give anyone else advice on the subject.

BlueRider
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 5 Feb 2020, 5:18pm

pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:In your 1st paraghraph, you have argued that PPE doesn't have a significant effect. I will happily take the insignificant effects on my daily commute then. Any reduction of risk or injury is welcome.


So, next question is what sort of helmet do you use, particularly what standard is at rated to (Snell or EN1078, do you even know)?

And since body armour is available for cyclists can we please ascertain that you do wear that on your commute? What grade of gloves, knee and elbow pads do you wear?

And so on. By saying any reduction of injury risk is welcome and assuming PPE will do that for you (ignoring the actual chances of being in an accident, which tend to rise with PPE) put yourself in the position that any PPE you might wear should be worn. If you go down the "more is better" route rather than "enough is enough" you're signed up for an arms race you can't possibly win.

Pete.


I wear a helmet made to a EN std. I have no idea if that is good or bad, nor do i care. I don't wear a helmet to protect me from getting flattened by the #192 bus, i wear a helemt to stop cuts and lascerations to me should i fall off, and to protect my scull from puncture wounds and light impact fractures. I could get the same level of protection from a leather pudding bowl but those are a bit old hat. I don't expect it to save my life.

Body armour? Non. Below the neck, i am happy to take the risk of grazes, cuts and at worst, a fracture. Cycling isn't utterly risk free and i couldn't remove all of the risks if i tried. My PPE is about risk management rather than aversion. Above the neck, the risk of an injury being significant increases.

FOr the dark, I wear a flashing head lamp and a hi vis cycling jacket and have lights front and back.
During daytime, i avoid wearing dark or block colours and if in traffic, have my lights on flash mode.

So no, you can't remove all risk and you can't eliminate any potential for injury when cycling but you can take some very easy and simple measures when cycling to reduce either. Thats a good thing no?

BlueRider
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 5 Feb 2020, 5:24pm

Mike Sales wrote:I think risk compensation and especially risk aversion are misleading terms. Risk homeostasis is better.
I may have misunderstood your thinking, but I take it that you are not a helmet advocate? That is, you may wear one, but do not venture to give anyone else advice on the subject.


Advice should be freely given so that it can be freely returned.

My own feelings are that helmets are only a good thing, especially so with young children and i feel the rewards of wearing them outway any percieved risk (especially so for children). However, i would not mandate their use in law and would actively campaign against those who would have that law enacted.
My own experiences of cycling have taught me that for me, being visible and wearing a helmet is an absolute positive.
I wouldn't force that on others but i do wince when i see other cyclists doing otherwise.

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mjr
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mjr » 5 Feb 2020, 6:13pm

BlueRider wrote:This is just deflection and diversion to stop you accepting valid discussion and reason.

And I feel your snide misdescriptions like that are just trying to avoid that your claims were baseless because you have no evidence that dazzle camo reduces risk or helmets reduce consequence.

BlueRider wrote:Helmets are bad because pollution? Really? lol.

That comment was more about hi-vis which is made of short-life synthetics that release microfibres into the water system on each wash, but yes, most current helmets pollute too. After all, how did you recycle your old ones?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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mjr
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mjr » 5 Feb 2020, 6:16pm

BlueRider wrote:My own experiences of cycling have taught me that for me, being visible and wearing a helmet is an absolute positive.

I think you're a fairly new entrant to this discussion, so I'll repeat an earlier request: I find that being visible is a simple consequence of existing so please could you tell me how to be invisible? I would like to do some things where being invisible would greatly facilitate them...
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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pjclinch
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 6 Feb 2020, 12:05pm

BlueRider wrote:Your arguments seems to be a binary logic and i believe this is because you are entranched in your position rather than being open and objective about the subject and the facts or not.

Myself, i prefer shades of gray instead of black/white.


Since my position on just about everything is a shade of grey I'm interested as to how you came to that conclusion. You're the one here saying X is clearly the thing to do, I'm saying it's actually a bit more complicated than that.

BlueRider wrote:Any improvement in visability is going to be significantly better than non. Yes you can be more visable, but the very act of doing something in the first place will get you a good way along the curve of diminishing returns.


Your issue here is that you're assuming someone in black isn't doing anything to improve their visibility. I'm a Bikeability instructor, and the feeling in the professional cycle training community is that what you wear isn't much of an issue but where you are on the road is. So my road position is consistently where I am most likely to be seen and my riding is predictable so I'm easy to avoid.
So I have "done something in the first place", and the evidence points to my possibly wearing a dayglo coat as doing very little to push me further along that curve.

BlueRider wrote:Likewise helmet use, yes i could go and research the very best helmets and buy the very peak of technology but i imagine (and i care not to investigate) that the benefit beween a good helmet and the best helmet may small when compared against the benefit of wearing one vs not.


As Robert A Heinlein said, "Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal"

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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mjr
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby mjr » 6 Feb 2020, 12:10pm

BlueRider wrote:Any improvement in visability is going to be significantly better than non. Yes you can be more visable, but the very act of doing something in the first place will get you a good way along the curve of diminishing returns.

And where "doing something in the first place" is having the legally-required reflectors on your bike, then short-life synthetic coats are pretty much irrelevant.

BlueRider wrote:Likewise helmet use, yes i could go and research the very best helmets and buy the very peak of technology but i imagine (and i care not to investigate) that the benefit beween a good helmet and the best helmet may small when compared against the benefit of wearing one vs not.

That's just your imagination running away with you. For an illustration that there is little practical benefit to using a helmet, plot helmet usage rates against casualty rates for a suitably-large area (such as GB) over all time, when usage has varied from zero (BCH - before current helmets) to about 30% and there's no correlation. Although correlation would not prove causation, if there was overall benefit then we should see correlation.

This admitted carelessness about safety theatre is all a long way from the previously-claimed position of "any reduction of risk or injury is welcome".
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Feb 2020, 12:55pm

BluRider...

You also seem to have missed the fact that risk homeostasis isn't just your behaviour, it's the behaviour of those around you.

That's why many cyclists apply the 'wobble' around certainly junctions - it makes drivers think you are little less predictable, and so they leave a bit more space (in general).

You are claiming that because *you* don't change your behaviour (when clearly you have, because you say you wouldn't be cycling otherwise) the risk doesn't change - but the risk is virtually entirely in the hands of others (assuming you are taking basic precautions like riding with a bike that has brakes, and leaving your eyes open).


So you add two items with no benefit in a collision, or negligible benefit in a collision - and claim everyone else should as well.

The difference between seeing a cyclist a mile away and 50 yards away in a town is what? Absolutely nothing. There isn't just a law of diminishing returns - there are *no* returns above a certain distance - and that distance is pretty darned short. From 30mph the Highway Code reckons 23m (source RAC) to come to a complete stop, including thinking distance. Modern brakes outperform the HC by some margin... but you could also suggest (not unreasonably) that an emergency stop shouldn't be expected... So double that distance and add some - 50 yards.... There is no need to be seen from further away than that, and I can see a pedestrian on the footpath all dressed in black from that far at night, and when I can't (because for some reason various sets of traffic lights here don't enter a dim mode overnight) then I slow down so that I don't need as far.

The difference between a helmet and not is... scrapes and bruises. I'd be very surprised if one stopped a penetrating fracture - though I suppose if you fall into a clout nail on the ground then it might (though equally it might hold it straight and true, rather than letting it deflect to one side).
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 1:05pm

pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:Your arguments seems to be a binary logic and i believe this is because you are entranched in your position rather than being open and objective about the subject and the facts or not.

Myself, i prefer shades of gray instead of black/white.


Since my position on just about everything is a shade of grey I'm interested as to how you came to that conclusion. You're the one here saying X is clearly the thing to do, I'm saying it's actually a bit more complicated than that.

BlueRider wrote:Any improvement in visability is going to be significantly better than non. Yes you can be more visable, but the very act of doing something in the first place will get you a good way along the curve of diminishing returns.


Your issue here is that you're assuming someone in black isn't doing anything to improve their visibility. I'm a Bikeability instructor, and the feeling in the professional cycle training community is that what you wear isn't much of an issue but where you are on the road is. So my road position is consistently where I am most likely to be seen and my riding is predictable so I'm easy to avoid.
So I have "done something in the first place", and the evidence points to my possibly wearing a dayglo coat as doing very little to push me further along that curve.

BlueRider wrote:Likewise helmet use, yes i could go and research the very best helmets and buy the very peak of technology but i imagine (and i care not to investigate) that the benefit beween a good helmet and the best helmet may small when compared against the benefit of wearing one vs not.


As Robert A Heinlein said, "Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal"

Pete.


Eh?
For road position to be any benefit for visability in crash avoidence, you have to be seen in the first place no?

Good luck riding in the middle of the road on a dark night in the rain wearing all black....

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pjclinch
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby pjclinch » 6 Feb 2020, 1:39pm

BlueRider wrote:Eh?
For road position to be any benefit for visability in crash avoidence, you have to be seen in the first place no?

Good luck riding in the middle of the road on a dark night in the rain wearing all black....


The art of being seen is mainly being somewhere people look.

Road users, by and large, look at the part of the road they are going to traverse, and if there's something in that area like a bike with legal lights and reflectors, whatever the rider is wearing, the whole setup is very likely to be seen. To be frank, even if it's a crow (much smaller, considerably blacker, with no particular knowledge of traffic smarts) then unless the driver is testing their night vision and have the headlamps off then it will still be seen if it's in the path of the vehicle where the driver is looking.

Otherwise all you'd need to do to guarantee carnage would be to put a black-painted concrete block in a road, or dig a huge hole, and everyone would crash in to it. Quite why you're sure that someone on a legally lit bike vanishes by putting a black coat on is rather bemusing.

(I ride in the middle of the traffic stream, not the road, when in Primary. You'd probably do well to read Cyclecraft.)

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

BlueRider
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 1:44pm

pjclinch wrote:
BlueRider wrote:Eh?
For road position to be any benefit for visability in crash avoidence, you have to be seen in the first place no?

Good luck riding in the middle of the road on a dark night in the rain wearing all black....


The art of being seen is mainly being somewhere people look.

Road users, by and large, look at the part of the road they are going to traverse, and if there's something in that area like a bike with legal lights and reflectors, whatever the rider is wearing, the whole setup is very likely to be seen. To be frank, even if it's a crow (much smaller, considerably blacker, with no particular knowledge of traffic smarts) then unless the driver is testing their night vision and have the headlamps off then it will still be seen if it's in the path of the vehicle where the driver is looking.

Otherwise all you'd need to do to guarantee carnage would be to put a black-painted concrete block in a road, or dig a huge hole, and everyone would crash in to it. Quite why you're sure that someone on a legally lit bike vanishes by putting a black coat on is rather bemusing.

(I ride in the middle of the traffic stream, not the road, when in Primary. You'd probably do well to read Cyclecraft.)

Pete.


To validate your position, you are focussing on the obvious line of sight which has nothing to do with hi vis usage at all.
Visual aids work best when the line of sight is unobvious. that is the point of them, to catch your attension in the 1st place.

Yours is a null argument.

BlueRider
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby BlueRider » 6 Feb 2020, 2:26pm

Well, at least we have given up on the pretence that either Hi vis or helmets are useless :D

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Cunobelin
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Re: Why wear black?

Postby Cunobelin » 7 Feb 2020, 6:09am

mattheus wrote:
BlueRider wrote:Well, at least we have given up on the pretence that Hi vis is useless :D

Do you mean posting references?


Or in fact any evidence. that proved HiViz wasn't useless?